The changing tendencies in outdoor advertizing screen industry

Chief editor - Vladimir Krylov
Deputy chief editor - Michael Nikulichev

Manufacturing of outdoor advertizing screens remains relatively young industry. However changes here are so swift and meaningful that need to be explained in detail. A desire to take a large TV and install it in the street goes back to the 1970ies. As it frequently happens, the idea was first formulated in the USA and was immediately implemented there. First, engineers developed boards with running letters, later invented full-color lamp screens. The latter were cumbersome, consumed too much power, but compared to shy and silent static billboards, outdoor screens became a long-expected innovation.

Giant outdoor advertising lamp screen Giant outdoor advertising lamp screen
Giant outdoor advertising lamp screens

The only problem is that lamp screens have low resolution. The quality of advertising image on lamp outdoor screens is not very high. Engineers did not stop thinking: by mid-80ies they created an outdoor LED screen with much better resolution. But at that time they failed to make it into a full-color system. To mix colors and produce all shades of the palette it was necessary to use three colors: red, green and blue. In mid-80ies LED industry was unable to manufacture blue LEDs due to complex structure and large number of p-n transfer levels. Thus, for a long time LED screens were limited to a two color variants and were primarily used as informational or banner screens.

Development of a blue LED in early 90ies was equal to the revolution in this industry. Now it was possible to manufacture full-color LED screens for outdoor advertizing with excellent resolution. However the explosive growth in the number of such outdoor screens was held back by two reasons: prohibitively high prices and imperfect control systems that were unable to process huge information flows for large area images.

For this reason lamp electronic screens continued to develop and spread through the world. During 80ies and 90ies only in the USA there were 5000 outdoor advertizing lamp screens.

The outdoor animation advertising continued to be extremely profitable, advertising budgets for outdoor advertising grew fast and steady. Not surprisingly engineers throughout the world were thinking hard of ways to simplify systems and make them somewhat cheaper. At last, in mid-90ies new control systems appeared and the prices on outdoor LED screens slipped down. The number of screen systems in large cities started to rise. However overall prices were still high.

Giant outdoor LED screen Giant outdoor LED screen
Giant outdoor LED screens

Then one more revolutionary solution appeared in the market: it allowed using super bright LEDs with narrow angle for outdoor screens. Special light filters widen the angle of the light beam and protect LED from adverse weather conditions. The brightness remains so high that LED screens can operate in bright sunlight. This new approach made it possible to bring down LED screen prices even further to make them affordable. Large LED screens with excellent resolution and high intensity have no competition. The solution was developed and patented by “ATV Outdoor Systems”, a Russian-based LED screen manufacturer.

From now on, LED screen manufacturing became a viable option even for small-scale businesses.
The show must go on!